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classified FREEWHEELING BICYCLES. 2404 San Gabriel, Austin. For whatever your bicycle needs. GET AWAY!!! Join Texas Paradise Retreat Club. 500 beautiful secluded acres of peaceful natural wonder. Swim, fish, hunt, canoe, camp, horseback ride. Private cabins. Meeting center, air-strip, charter flight service. Send $3 for exquisite color brochure, photos, membership application. G. J. Mose & Co., Inc., 11735 Featherbrook Drive, Dallas , Texas 75228. KNOW YOUR RIGHTS. Send $7.95 to Buying, Renting & Borrowing in Texas, 2505 Stratford, Austin 78746. BACKPACKING MOUNTAINEERING RAFTING. Outback Expeditions, P.O. Box THE PEACE MOVEMENT is alive and well in Texas. American Friends Service Committee works for disarmament, peace and justice. AFSC, 1022 W. 6th, Austin 78703. DUGGER & SON INC. Homebuilding, re modeling, additions, repairs, fences. Call Gary Dugger at 452-1013 in Austin. JOIN THE ACLU. Membership $20. Texas. Civil Liberties Union, 600 West 7th, Austin 78701. SELL OBSERVER SUBSCRIPTIONS. The Observer has a $10 commission program. Organizations and individuals may arrange with us to sell new one-year Observer subscriptions and receive a $10 commission for each sale. We will provide forms, sample copies, and other materials. Contact the Observer at 600 W. 7th St., Austin, Tx. 78701, or phone 512-477-0746. No PAC’s or campaigns, please. COMMUNITY ORGANIZERS ACORN needs organizers to work with low and moderate income families in 16 states for political and economic justice. Direct action on neighborhood deterioration, utility rates, taxes, health care. Tangible results and enduring rewards long hours and low pay. Training REASON magazine America’s leading libertarian monthly; news and analysis of current political and economic trends. Contributors include Thomas Szasz, Murray Rothbard, Nathaniel Branden, Karl Hess. If you are concerned with personal freedom, REASON is for you. Current issue $2.00; Special Finance issue $2.00; from PACIFIC SUNRISE TRADING COMPANY, 1712 S. 441-4565. Free booklist on request, or visit our store. Classified advertising is 300 per word. Discounts for multiple insertions within a 12month period: 25 times, 50%; 12 times, 25%; 6 times, 10%. not readily accepted by the public anyway, especially if the subject matter dealt with is close to home. The “complexities of life in the state” that McMurtry is arguing for are not necessarily to be found in the urban scene only, at least not for Americans: they’re in the air we breathe and the time we walk through, and there’s no way a “major” writer could keep from reflecting these complexities, whether the milieu of his fictional setting is urban or town/rural. If the modern reader wants to read about his or her real life, in a major novel it’s going to be found in the rhythms and between the lines, coming off the pulse of his own and the author’s blood whether or not the book contains a description of a parking meter. Considering how much later than in most of the rest of the U.S. Texans, particularly in the state’s western half, “grave by grave civilized the ground,” the complexity, the undercurrent of savagery, in terms of the existent world and of our relationships with one another, are as close to the surface, on pavement or in scrub cedar, as anywhere else in the nation, and they will press against the driven writer’s sensibilities and force him toward expression no matter what. R. G. Vliet, Stamford, Vermont Ca-ca del Toro? Since I first learned that there were authors whose books were regarded as “Regional Literature,” I have searched for Texas writers whose work was recognized as a contribution to universal literature. I have found none. Even Larry McMurtry, who up to now has been held high in my esteem, is generally known as a regionalist. I have long resented such a label being hung on McMurtry. The Last Picture show, Horseman Pass By and Leaving Cheyenne left me with an understanding of my own Texas youth, and an insight into the fears, hopes and prejudices Personal Service Quality Insurance ALICE ANDERSON AGENCY INSURANCE & REAL ESTATE 808A E. 46th, Austin, Texas 459-6577 Chuck Caldwell’s SELHABLES 800-424-2463 Call Toll Free II 0 T F. I. 1731 New Hampshire Ave., N.W. Washington, D.C. 20009 From $29 up. Best buy in D.C. within me that I would have been hard put to find elsewhere. Growing from child to man is nonetheless painful when it is done in Texas rather than New Jersey. Privately, I have placed the responsibility for the regionalist label squarely upon the shoulders of Eastern critics. It has always confounded me that novels set on the East Coast and written by Easterners are deemed universal in scope, while novels set in Texas, by Texans are called, “regional.” Has anyone ever heard of a successful novel set in New York City being called, “regional?” I haven’t. Recognition as universal literature, it seems, lies within the whimsical realm of East Coast critics. Now, I find that McMurtry may be one of them. I am disappointed. McMurtry may have been too long in Washington D.C. The channels of his brain seem to have accumulated a residue of Eastern silt that renders it incapable of deep thought. His basic premise is wrong. That verisimilitude of life that is literature would be an outright lie in Texas novels if based on McMurtry’s assumption that Texans have become city folk. Go to Houston, Dallas or San Antonio and make a survey. The great majority of Texans who live in those cities are not natives. They are from Spurger, Nacogdoches, Tyler, Odessa, Big Spring and Donna. “City” Texans have only one foot in Houston. The other is planted so firmly in Waxahachie and El Campo that it is rooted. And that is why the rural cowboy is far from dead. McMurtry’s premise further implies that nothing of literary value can occur in San Angelo or Corsicana because they are too small. That is pure ca -ca del torn. People live there, and unlike Danny Deck they remain there for whole lifetimes, they go to school, they love, they fight, they work, they marry and they die. All right there in Corsicana. And, I might add, they still mourn the passing of that “godlike horseman.” Danny Deck, on the other hand, left mere shards of himself in Austin, Houston, California and ultimately in the Rio Grande. One would need an archeological bent to grasp any substance that he might have had. I believe Deck to be the character that bridged McMurtry’s own transition from rural to urban. I further believe that he was necessarily nebulous because even McMurtry didn’t know him well enough. 20 DECEMBER 18, 1981